Ireland splits over Iraq

John Fay, editor of NI Newshound newsfilter site, talks (subscription needed) about the unease he feels at a growing anti-American sentiment in the Republic. However, he contrasts this with the actions of the Irish government:

“As an American, I accept that Irish people have the right to decide what nations they side with as they see fit. However, for many Irish Americans, the fact that many in Ireland would choose not to support the U.S. is stunning, if only because most Irish Americans have always supported Ireland and wished Irish people well. Official American attitudes towards Ireland should be based on the extent of mutual commitment. The Irish government has recognized this aspect to international relations.”

“Acting out of naked self-interest, the government is permitting U.S. forces to land at Shannon on their way to the Middle East despite almost (seemingly) universal opposition to this policy. Therefore, state-to-state relations between the U.S. and Ireland are apparently not going to be affected by any war with Iraq.”

Still, he warns that purely reactive attitudes against US’s actions in the wider world context could have serious longer term consequences for Ireland.

And it’s not just in the south. Malachi O’Doherty’s relates the polarised attitudes in Northern Ireland towards potential American action over Iraq.

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